July 1, 2010
My Mother's Hands
"Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)
She held out the soft white blanket scalloped in pink ribbon. "I'm not sure I want to give it to her," my mom said. The stitches were a bit looser than my mother's past handiwork, but I could see love in every crocheted inch.
I held her hands in my own. Her once slender fingers were bent and swollen at the joints. I imagined her holding the crochet needles and weaving the yarn in and out for hours, days, until the blanket was complete. It is an heirloom for her first great-grandchild, one created with pain and love.
I think I take my mother's hands for granted. They have caressed my cheek. They have made me wear a coat (even when I protested that I was a mother of three grown children). They have dialed the cell phone she loves, and hates, so she could talk to "her Suzie." Her hands have penned cards that showed up in my mailbox saying "I love you."
There's an old 70s song that says, "Time keeps on slipping, slipping, into the future." There is truth in those lyrics. I see the passage of time in my mother's hands. I also see it as moments pass into hours and then into days in a whirl. Life is always busy, like this month when the white board on the refrigerator lists church events, speaking engagements, dentist visits, showers and weddings and graduations, as well as other details like pay the bills, mow the lawn, clean the house.
Recently I realized that my mother was moving further down on that list. A week passed. A month flew by. The phone calls came. "Hey, Suz, just calling to say I miss you."
One day I received an e-mail from a friend. Her mom was sick. For the next few weeks I prayed, reading every update. One night I read the e-mail from my beautiful friend that expressed her love for her ailing mom, and prayer for strength to say goodbye. Suddenly it hit me how little time I actually devoted to my mother. I held the e-mail and wept. The next day I made a date with my mom. She was like a girl; she laughed on the phone as we made plans.
I pray that I have many more opportunities to hang out with my mom, but more than that I pray that I don't take her for granted.
Life most likely won't slow down. But as I devote time to worthwhile endeavors, I don't want to forget that in the grand scheme of things, holding my mother's hands is one of the most priceless investments I'll ever make.
Dear Father, thank You for my loved ones. Life gets so hectic, and sometimes it's hard to slow down long enough to show them how much I care. Please help me to slow down and recognize what is of little value so that I can invest in people with immense value. In Your precious Name, Amen.
The Woman I Am Becoming by T. Suzanne Eller
The Mom I Want to be: Rising above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future by T. Suzanne Eller
Visit Suzie's blog where she will give away a copy of The Mom I Want to be: Rising above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future, co-written by Suzie and her mom.
The Overwhelmed Woman's Guide to Caring for Aging Parents by Julie-Allyson Ieron
1. Write. Leave a note in an unexpected place.
2. Give. Spend time with no strings attached (help work in the garden, go to lunch, sit and chat).
3. Touch. Especially if your loved one is older or widowed and they are not touched in positive ways any more. (Massage their hands. Hold their hand. Touch their face or hair.)
4. Affirm. Tell them one encouraging thing that you believe about them.
Is there someone you need to spent more time with?
"The most important thing that should totally absorb our lives down here is the practice of real love. Why? Because love lasts. Love will be the only thing that matters in eternity." ~Jill Brisco, author of Love that Lasts.
John 15:12b, "Love each other in the same way I have loved you." (NLT)
Matthew 6:21, "Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." (NLT)
© 2010 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105